IPS – Profits Before Safety in Pakistan’s Factories | Inter Press Service

Having visited Ali Enterprises – the apparel factory in Pakistan’s capital, Karachi, that went up in flames last September, killing 300 workers – he says he cannot fathom how the plant was awarded the prestigious SA8000 certification by Social Accountability International, a New York-based monitoring body tasked with assessing safety standards, just weeks before one of the worst recorded industrial disasters.

Reportedly caused by short-circuiting, the fire tore quickly through the factory, trapping workers behind locked doors.

Though the factory owners blamed the heavy death toll on the chaos that followed the blaze, experts say a lack of basic safety standards – like an absence of exit passages or adequate in-house emergency firefighting capabilities – was the primary factor behind the tragedy.

A good five months down the road, families of several victims are waiting to gain custody of their deceased loved ones: burnt beyond recognition, the bodies have not yet been identified, despite repeated DNA tests.

via IPS – Profits Before Safety in Pakistan’s Factories | Inter Press Service.